Alex Leavitt

Quantitative UX Researcher

I’m a computational social scientist at Facebook Research. I received my PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, where I studied collaborative news aggregation practices in large online communities. At Facebook, I conduct research for the Civic Integrity research & product team, where I study the impact of social ties and algorithms on people’s exposure to and engagement with politics, news, polarization, misinformation, violence, and trust. I use a range of mixed methods from survey experiments, machine learning, and social network analysis to traditional ethnographic interviews and observation. My research is published at venues such as the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Social Media + Society. Previously, I was a researcher at Sony PlayStation, Disney Interactive, Microsoft Research New England and MIT.


Politics, news, polarization, misinformation, incivility, trust, social media, human-computer interaction, peer production, online collaboration, digital affordances, computational social science, ethnography, and mixed methods

Latest Publications

CHI - April 25, 2020

How Well Do People Report Time Spent on Facebook? An Evaluation of Established Survey Questions with Recommendations

Sindhu Kiranmai Ernala, Moira Burke, Alex Leavitt, Nicole Ellison